Welcome to the first Farm Journal of 2017! This is a special year for us; it’s the 140th since our founder, Pennsylvania farmer Wilmer Atkinson, printed off the first batch with the promise of providing real value (he even italicized it) to area farmers.
We are still very much the company this unassuming, Quaker farmer-journalist envisioned. In fact, his old wooden chair still graces one of our offices, a constant reminder of this commitment as it stands by a window overlooking the front of our building.
Today, we talk about Mr. Atkinson’s mission as service journalism, keeping the farmers we serve first in everything we produce in print, online, on TV or for radio. But service journalism has become a two-way conversation rather than a one-way street. In order to serve you best, we want to hear about your lives, your challenges, what keeps you up at night and, yes, your political observations and expectations over the next four years.
In December, I asked for your thoughts as the Trump administration gets to work. What’s the first thing this new crop of leaders could do that would impact your operation positively? Or, do you worry about changes that might lie ahead? We’ll print comments as space allows, starting with Virginia farmer Frank Nolen’s, below.
We will look for your comments on Facebook and Twitter (under the hashtag #FJFarmersSpeakOut) and we will feature them on AgWeb. Email or pencil and paper still work, too.
I hope Mr. Atkinson would be proud of his magazine today. We do our best to make him so. I know for a fact he’d still be proud of the people it serves.
Reader Opinion: A New Crop of Leaders
We are willing to give the new crop a chance but going in, it appears there is a lot more fertilizer than seed. The critical thing for farmers is stability. With so much [to do] backing up on trade, immigration, regulation, etc., it is hard to make any plans. The past years of gridlock have been frustrating, but they have not caused a lot of instability. Bold and abrupt changes might be welcomed by some, but for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, so the actions of the new crop need to be carefully vetted. The new crop does not have a lot of experience in the goings-on around the grassroots. Our saving grace is that the inertia of the vast federal bureaucracy is such that it can’t be turned around on a dime. Therefore, in my opinion, many of those rural [people] who voted for the new crop are going to be very disappointed and our real future will be determined by the cover crop elected in 2018. In our operation here in the Valley of Virginia, we are planning for another recession before the next election.
Frank W. Nolen, farmer and former Virginia state senator
Top Producer Seminar
Jan. 24–27, 2017, Chicago, Ill.
To learn more and register, call (877) 482-7203 or visit www.FarmJournal.com/trainings